Nebraska students seem to be hitting their stride on standardized tests.
Test results from the previous school year released today indicate across-the-board improvement in reading, science and math.
Nebraska Deputy Education Commissioner Scott Swisher reported 77% of the students taking the reading test met or exceeded state standards, a big improvement from 2010, when 69% of the students scored proficient on the reading test. In science, 70% of the students met or exceeded standards, an improvement of 3% from a year ago. Math scores nudged up a percentage point at 69%.
The writing test taken by 4th Graders was new last year. Sixty-eight percent of the 4th Graders taking the tests scored proficient.
Swisher said a broad-brush view looks encouraging. A break-down of the scores by student population will be released late next month.
“Overall, the trends are very good. When you look at individual sub-groups, you have to determine how they’re doing and if they’re not improving why they’re not improving,” Swisher told reporters during a news conference at the Nebraska Department of Education offices in Lincoln.
More than 155,000 students took the standardized tests last year.
The reading and math tests were administered to elementary and middle school students, grades three through eight along with juniors in high school. The science test was taken by 5th Graders, 8th Graders and juniors.
Teachers handed out over 375,000 tests March 25th through May 3rd earlier this year.
Swisher said such information can prove useful to parents.
“They can look at the state trends and then when their school information comes out, they can see if they’re trending with the state or not,” Swisher said.
Swisher said now that the scores have been released, the analysis begins.
“To see if your curriculum is aligned to the standards would be the first step for the teachers and principals; making sure they’re teaching what’s being tested,” according to Swisher. “Parents need to get in, talk to teachers and find out how their students are doing and work with their teachers to improve their student’s scores.”
Click here for more details on the test scores.